The Fires, Asian, and Stratospheric Transport-Las Vegas Ozone Study (FAST-LVOS)
The Fires, Asian, and Stratospheric Transport–Las Vegas Ozone Study (FAST-LVOS) was conducted in May and June of 2017 to study the transport of ozone (O3) to Clark County, Nevada, a marginal non-attainment area in the southwestern United States (SWUS). This 6-week (20 May–30 June 2017) field campaign used lidar, ozonesonde, aircraft, and in situ measurements in conjunction with a variety of models to characterize the distribution of O3 and related species above southern Nevada and neighboring California and to probe the influence of stratospheric intrusions and wildfires as well as local, regional, and Asian pollution on surface O3 concentrations in the Las Vegas Valley (≈ 900 m above sea level, a.s.l.). In this paper, we describe the FAST-LVOS campaign and present case studies illustrating the influence of different transport processes on background O3 in Clark County and southern Nevada. The companion paper by Zhang et al. (2020) describes the use of the AM4 and GEOS-Chem global models to simulate the measurements and estimate the impacts of transported O3 on surface air quality across the greater southwestern US and Intermountain West. The FAST-LVOS measurements found elevated O3 layers above Las Vegas on more than 75 % (35 of 45) of the sample days and show that entrainment of these layers contributed to mean 8 h average regional background O3 concentrations of 50–55 parts per billion by volume (ppbv), or about 85–95 µg m−3. These high background concentrations constitute 70 %–80 % of the current US National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 70 ppbv (≈ 120 µg m−3 at 900 m a.s.l.) for the daily maximum 8 h average (MDA8) and will make attainment of the more stringent standards of 60 or 65 ppbv currently being considered extremely difficult in the interior SWUS.